Date lodged: 12 April 2017
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of their status as a protected status, for what reason the shooting of mountain hares is permissible.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 2 May 2017
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, mountain hares are protected by a close season which is between 1 March and 31 July. Outwith this period, mountain hares may legally be shot. An application for a licence to shoot hares during the close season may be made to Scottish Natural Heritage for specific purposes, as set out in Section 16(1) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. These include the conservation of flora or fauna and the prevention of serious damage to foodstuff for livestock or to crops, vegetables, fruit and growing timber.